Singing Dog adoption comes with:
The fee for adopting an animal is based on a 3 month contribution to provide food, heating and enclosure maintenance, animal husbandry costs and veterinary fees for your favourite animals. You will also be assisting ongoing conservation projects at Exmoor Zoo.
You will receive
- An adopters certificate
- A complimentary zoo admission ticket for two people to visit the zoo (value £29.90 as of 2019)
- A name plaque in our tunnel of fame for one year
- A photograph of your favourite animal
- Periodic zoo news updates
Any individual Zoo Animal can be adopted, but this is limited to 4 adoptions per year (one adoption per person for each 3 months of the year - maximum of 4 per year).
If this is a gift please note this in delivery instructions and use the delivery address to send the adoption package to.
The New Guinea singing dog or New Guinea Highland dog is a type of dog (Canis familiaris) native to the New Guinea Highlands of the island of New Guinea. Once considered to be a separate species in its own right, under the name Canis hallstomi, it is closely related to the Australian dingo.
The dog is noted for its unique vocalization. Little is known about New Guinea singing dogs in the wild, and there are only two photographs of possible wild sightings. In 1989, the Australian mammalogist Tim Flannery took a photo of a black-and-tan dog in Telefomin District. He wrote that these dogs live with native people in the mountains, and that there were feral populations living in the alpine and sub-alpine grasslands of the Star Mountains and the Wharton Range. The photo was published in his book Mammals of New Guinea. In 2012, Australian wilderness adventure guide Tom Hewett took a photo of a tawny, thick-coated dog in the Puncak Mandala region of West Papua, Indonesia.
In 2016, a literature review found that there is no definitive evidence that the founding members of captive populations of New Guinea singing dogs were wild-living animals; they were raised as members of village populations of domestic dogs. However, in 2020 a nuclear genome study indicates that the highland wild dogs from the base of Puncak Jaya were the population from which captive New Guinea singing dogs were derived. The size and distribution of the wild population is not known.
Australian mammalogist Tim Flannery in his book the Mammals of New Guinea describes the "New Guinea Wild Dog" as looking similar to the dingo, only smaller. Most of these dogs in New Guinea are domesticated with large numbers being kept by widows and bachelors, with hunters keeping at least two for assisting them with hunting. These dogs do not bark, and their chorused howling makes a haunting and extraordinary sound, which has led to their alternative name of "New Guinea Singing Dog". Flannery published in his book a photo of a black-and-tan dog in the Telefomin District. He wrote that these dogs live with native people in the mountains, and that there were feral populations living in the alpine and sub-alpine grasslands of the Star Mountains and the Wharton Range.
Compared with other species in its genus, the New Guinea singing dog is described as relatively short-legged and broad-headed. These dogs have an average shoulder height of 31–46 cm (12–18 in) and weigh 9–14 kg (20–31 lb). They do not have rear dewclaws.
The limbs and spine of the New Guinea singing dog are very flexible and they can spread their legs sideways to 90°, comparable to the Norwegian Lundehund. They can also rotate their front and hind paws more than domestic dogs, which enables them to climb trees with thick bark or branches that can be reached from the ground; however, their climbing skills do not reach the same level as those of the grey fox, and are closely related to those of a cat.
The eyes, which are highly reflective, are triangular (or almond-shaped) and are angled upwards from the inner to outer corners with dark eye rims. Eye colour ranges from dark amber to dark-brown. Their eyes exhibit a bright green glow when lights are shone on them in low light conditions. There are two features which researchers believe allow New Guinea singing dogs to see more clearly in low light. One is that of their pupils, which open wider and allow in more light than in other dog varieties. The other is that they possess a higher concentration of cells in the tapetum.
New Guinea singing dogs have erect, pointed, fur-lined ears. As with other wild dogs, the ears 'perk', or lay forward, which is suspected to be an important survival feature for the species. The ears can be rotated like a directional receiver to pick up faint sounds. Their tails are bushy, long enough to reach the hock, free of kinks, and have a white tip.
Pups are born with a dark chocolate brown pelt with gold flecks and reddish tinges, which changes to light brown by the age of six weeks. Adult coloration occurs around four months of age. For adult dogs, the colors brown, black, and tan have been reported, all with white points. The sides of the neck and zonal stripes behind the scapula are golden. Black and very dark guard hair is generally lightly allocated over the hair of the spine, concentrating on the back of the ears and the surface of the tail over the white tip. The muzzle is always black on young dogs. Generally, all colors have white markings underneath the chin, on the paws, chest and tail tip. About one third also have white markings on the muzzle, face and neck. By 7 years of age, the black muzzle begins to turn grey.